Source: Channel 9 | Bushfire Appeal
February 12, 2009
Russell appears with coach Jason Taylor and two Souths team members on the Channel 9 (Australia) Bushfire Appeal telethon to talk about his efforts along with the Coff's Harbour city council to "collect enough money to build a community center in the worst affected area" of Victoria where the devastating bushfires were centered.
The host asks what Russell thought about the tragedy and the people of Victoria. Russell says, "Hopefully they can feel the swell of support from the people of Australia. Having a place in the bush, you know, fire is never that far away. We've experienced pretty close stuff in the past but obviously nothing like the fury of the fires of Victoria. I just want to say that on behalf of myself, my wife Danielle Spencer, and my kids Charlie and Tennyson, we've all sat down and talked about the terrible times people must be having and we just want to offer some support. This is the way we feel we can do it that will really have an effect and we're going to put this community appeal together so that we're not just putting money in a slot and when the time is right we will have the money to build a community center or build what the people in the worst affected areas feel like they need the most."
The host credits Russell with being "like a production assistant ... he's done everything other than get behind the cameras to make it (the appeal program) happen."
Another commentator notes that "you've been able to muster a lot of people to our side, haven't you?"
Russell acknowledges, "Yeah I put the call out to Los Angeles to a few people ... and a few people in William Morris jumped on board and guys like you and Mel came on board and I talked to Nicole and it's just been great, man. Australians ,you know, we're spread around the world but when things go down everybody's on board to get together and help so it's been great the last couple days hooking up with people and feeling the seriousness of their desire to help out. "
The host says, "We can only say to you, thank you very much. You cop a bit of a whacking at times in the media. But those who do know you, know that you're a fantastic bloke, and you don't leave anything behind when you put your shoulder to the wheel when it comes to getting behind a task or getting behind a cause."
~ transcription by Tamara